Miracle Piano Teaching System
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|Miracle Piano Teaching System|
|Developer(s)||The Software Toolworks|
|Publisher(s)||The Software Toolworks|
|Designer(s)||Jon Mandel, Henrik Markarian|
The Miracle Piano Teaching System is a MIDI keyboard/teaching tool created in 1990 by The Software Toolworks for the NES and SNES, Apple Macintosh, Amiga, Sega Genesis and PC. It consisted of a keyboard, connecting cables, power supply, soft foot pedals, and software either on 3.5" floppies or standard, licensed NES/SNES/Genesis cartridges. When connected to the console or computer, a user followed the on-screen notes. Its marketed value was as a tool to teach kids and to play the piano. It provided hundreds of lessons, and was advertised as the perfect adjunct to formal lessons. Due to its high price ($500) and low sales, the keyboard with all of the original cables together are a rare find. The Sega Genesis version can be worth up to $412. Aside from being released in the United States, the Miracle Keyboard was also released in multiple regions within Europe. The European versions are, however, much harder to find. Some of the NES Miracle keyboards were also later converted for PC use - the Nintendo Seal of Quality on these boards was covered up with a piece of plastic.
Students can learn to play classic piano, rock piano or show tunes. Fun exercises make learning the piano seem less like a chore and more like playing a video game. Instead of using the traditional NES controller, the piano becomes the controller as players hit targets in order to perfect their music skills.
There are two games that students can play to help teach rhyming. The first is called Robo Man where you have to press the correct keys at the right time to create a bridge. If you miss, Robo Man falls and you lose. The second game is a duck shooting game. You have to press the correct keys to shoot the ducks.
The Miracle Piano did not ever generate sounds from the NES hardware; all NES MIDI information was converted into audio by the instrument's built-in ROM and played through the instrument's stereo speakers, allowing the keyboard to be used independently of the console.
Computer Gaming World liked the Miracle system's games and graphics, describing them as "not only entertaining and challenging, but they are also cleverly designed to reinforce the lessons". The magazine concluded, "everything that Software Toolworks promises about this system is true [but] there is still no substitute for parental involvement".
- "Sega Genesis Rarity Guide".
- Rich, Jason R. (1992-04). "The Software Toolworks Puts a Miracle into Music". Computer Gaming World. p. 58. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- The Miracle Piano Teaching System at MobyGames
- Miracle Piano FAQ page.
- The Warp Zone as seen in Nintendo Power.
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